As we were chatting informally after Discipleship Team, someone asked me about financial giving. In a world of limited resources, how do we decide who to be generous towards? Should we be prioritising support of other ministries that are more ‘needy’ than CSAC?
Firstly, it is important to understand the necessity of financially supporting those who have been appointed to preach the Gospel. The reason we pay godly, gifted, and appointed people in ministry is to free them up from other concerns (such as earning a wage), to enable their devotion to prayer and ministry of the Word. This pattern is seen in both the Old Testament priestly system and the New Testament early church.
Secondly, not only does the Bible teach the priority of paying ministers, the New Testament makes it clear that it is up to believers to provide this financial support, and believers must place a priority in their generous giving to those who preach to them. That is, we must financially support our ministers at CSAC first and foremost. If we consider 1 Corinthians 9:14, preachers of the gospel are to be supported from the gospel they preach—they are to be primarily supported by those who hear them preach. Likewise, in the church setting of 1 Timothy 5:17-18, those who preach and teach are to be doubly honoured (with respect and finances), by the church they minister to. So, as members of CSAC, our primary giving should be to CSAC itself.
From 1 Timothy 6:16-17, we (who are rich in this present world) are commanded to be generous because God has given us everything. All that we have not only comes from God, but also really belongs to God. Our earthly wealth is not for us to hope in. It is for us to use generously for others.
I am very thankful and honoured to be personally financially supported by many individuals who generously give money to allow my family and I to share the gospel with international students at Deakin University. Some of those individuals are even here at CSAC. However, my encouragement to all those who financially support my ministry, and to all of us who call CSAC home, is to ensure we give primarily to our home church and to those who teach us from the Bible (and where we’re able, to give secondarily to other ministries like AFES).
AFES FOCUS staff worker & CSAC Parish Council member